Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dual's Cool but should I wait for Quads?

I've long said I was going to update my machine to a Core 2 Duo as soon as they arrived.  Well, they're here, but I still haven't upgraded.  My current desktop machine is 2.5 years old and is a Pentium 4 2.8ghz AGP.  It's starting to show its age when playing games like Battlefield 2, which it can barely play before freezing anyway.

So in pricing out a new Core 2 Duo machine, I came up with a number around $1200.  Doesn't sound bad.  But I started thinking, should I wait for the quad chips that Intel will be pushing out the door soon?  Furthermore, should I wait until next year when they roll out a 45nm process? 

Right now the quad core Kentsfields are 65nm.  From a power and heat standpoint it would make sense to wait for the shrink on those bad boys to 45nm.  Better yet, it might pay to wait until the 45nm quads are not just two core 2 duos slapped into the same packaging (Kentsfields draw about 130 watts at idle).

Now you may ask, "Why, Trimbo?  Why do you care about such things like process?"  The answer is twofold.  I want a computer that can handle upcoming games for several years -- hence the desire for a quad core processor.  The other half is that I don't want a hot and noisy computer.  I don't want to buy another Prescott (aka PressHOT)  and have to deal with thermal issues while playing games. 

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